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Potholes on I-696 causing issues for metro Detroit drivers

Potholes on I-696 causing issues for metro Detroit drivers
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 09:11:02-05

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Metro Detroit drivers are used to dealing with the rough and bumpy road conditions in Michigan.  Some roads are in worse shape than others - like I-696.

 “They fixed one side really good, but the other side is still kind of bumpy and so the potholes there have been the worse for me,” Derek Chatman, Farmington Hills resident said.

 Some drivers have had to take trips to an auto repair shop after driving over a pothole on 696.

 Michael Taylor is one of those drivers.

 “Just gigantic potholes, whole car shakes as you go over it,” Taylor said.

 Taylor says one of his tires had a slow leak and it got worse after driving on 696.

 He took his car into Darrell’s Firestone in Farmington Hills.

 “Big potholes, twice the size of a tire… visibility is bad, you don’t see them,” Taylor added. “You’re in the left lane, left tire.”

Chris Schafer, the manager at Darrell’s Firestone.  He says there’s always an uptick in customers coming in during the winter season, this time around is no different.

“People come in with popped tires, wheel problems, suspension problems, alignment issues,” Schafer said.

 Schafer added that he gets between five and ten people coming in daily because they have popped tires due to potholes.

 “I’ve probably already done hundreds of them this year,” Schafer said.

 When it comes to repairing 696, an MDOT spokesperson says it’s tough to fill potholes in these wintery, cold conditions, especially on older roads.

 The spokesperson went on to explain more in a statement to 7 Action News. It reads:

Cold patch’ is the only patch product available in the winter and is a very temporary product which cannot adhere to the other road material versus ‘Hot Mix Asphalt’ which is available in the spring and adheres better.

MDOT will be reconstructing WB 696 from Lahser to 275 this year and is just waiting for spring before we can tear out the westbound side of the roughly 40-year-old freeway.

For divers, like Michael Taylor, they are looking forward to the day 696 is redone.

 “It’s unfortunate since they’ve done so much construction on the road, it should be good by now,” Taylor said.